Move to rename Magnetic Island National Park to Indigenous name, Yunbenun

Why are our names not good enough? Why must they be renamed to please a tiny minority? Does it in fact please anybody? Our names are easier to remember, for a start. All the change achieves is for Leftists to look good in their own eyes. It also deflects attention from history and its lessons. History tends to discredit what passes for ideas among the Left so they avoid it like the plague

A push by the Queensland Government to rename Magnetic Island’s iconic national park to an Indigenous name has been slammed as a ‘meaningless gesture’ by angry residents.

The Department of Environment, Science and Innovation (DESI) is proposing to change the name of Magnetic Island National Park to Yunbenun in a nod to traditional owners.

Yunbenun — pronounced Yuhn-beh-nin — is the preferred name for the island by the Wulgurukaba, or the ‘canoe people.’

It’s understood the proposed renaming relates to the national park only, not the name of the island itself, but many residents fear it’s only a matter of time before that changes too.

It comes after the state government reinstated Fraser Island’s Indigenous name, K’gari, in 2023.

Magnetic Island resident and writer Mary Vernon anticipates a massive local backlash to the renaming. “A lot of people are concerned about it because it’s just a meaningless gesture really,” she said.

“I think people are also worried about where it might lead and the possibility of renaming the entire island.

“I know there’s a group of people on the island who are very keen for it to be renamed, but they don’t represent the majority.”

In a statement, DESI said the proposed change to the name of the national park “recognises the rich cultural history of the area and the ongoing, deep connection to the island for the Wulgurukaba people.”

“DESI has recently unveiled an updated management statement for the national park, which outlines strategic directions for conserving key natural social and cultural values of the World Heritage Area,” it said.

“This includes Wulgurukaba cultural sites and places as well as the heritage-listed World War II fort complex, significant vine thickets and the iconic hoop pine of Magnetic Island.”

The public is invited to have their say on the proposed renaming of the national park between now and 5pm on April 19.


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